Offshore call centre rant

I’ve had enough of verbal phone spam from Bangalore. Here’s the typical scenario for me:

  • Just coming out of a snooze after eating Portuguese BBQ chicken and potato salad
  • Phone rings. Decide whether to answer. Note to self: if I hesitate and think twice, trust instincts and don’t answer – there’s always voicemail or other more civilized forms of communication (like email)
  • Answer phone, “Hello”… pause…. nothing… try again: “Hello?”… pause, response (think Peter Sellers in The Party for a rough approximation of the accent) “Hello my name is Calvin Montgomery ringing you on behalf of BendWest …” For one, buddy, I know that’s not your name. For two, I don’t want to go through this.. anyway so this guy goes on with his scripted show, getting belligerent any time I want to speak or ask a question, or let him know that I’ve done this once before, gone through a 90 minute sales spiel, got my free gift and said no to the pitch but blah blah on he goes with the script
  • So he puts me down for an appointment (which I’m not going to go to but what the hey) and I ask for the office phone number in case I want to change the appointment because the appointment is for both my partner and I so I need to check first. Well this really threw him so he puts me through to his floor supervisor of appointments. Further note to self: If put on hold in a spam call hang up!
  • Ok so now I’m talking to a lady who speaks with a bit less of an accent who then proceeds to go through her script and I’m saying “Yeah I’ve heard all this” and so the whole point is so that they could send me an email with a confirmation to something I’m not even going to show up for. By the way, her name was like Belinda Johnson or something. These guys are such liars.

Anyway, it got me shitty so my advice is, as soon as you hear that one or two second pause (unless you’re expecting overseas calls) it’s the predictive dialing technology these offshore call centres use. HANG UP. It’s either going to be the spammers, or your phone company, in which case they should keep the work local and let you talk to someone who knows first-hand what the weather is like outside.


  1. I shouldn’t laugh but boy was that an entertaining read! lol And those names of those ppl! Yep definately liars. We’re lucky we don’t have to deal with any calls like that. Do you get them often? Maybe you should get a silent number?

  2. and Hank I have to say the worst are those pre-recorded messages … you know the drill… the phone rings you pick it up and a tape recorded message tells you you have won a brand new car and that you can call and claim the car at a cost of $4 a minute… what a scam… I wish I thought of it…

  3. My first experience with an Indian call centre was trying to get an ordeal with a mobile phone saleswoman sorted out. Considering customer service is one of the bigger opinion-forming aspects of the retail industry, you’d think companies would try a bit harder to NOT alienate and frustrate their customers. Rational people tend to understand that concept, and yet the problem is still here.

    That’s probably why rational people never make these decisions.

  4. Now that’s a story, Brad. I would suggest anyone considering getting a mobile phone, or indeed struggling with a phone company or other service, read through Brad’s links…

  5. Sad but true. Unfortunate part of the entire story are the people who get the brickbatting from both ends. They are the people who get abused from the potential customers they call and also for being in that high pressured tele-marketing atmosphere. Business decisions! I’d leave it at that! :-)

  6. Looking at the bigger picture of course, yes, you have to understand that at the end of the day, these people who graduate from college and aspire to working in a call centre in Bangalore or Mumbai have the real disadvantage relatively speaking. I’ve done call centre work, and felt the demands of the job and the emotional drain of dealing with hostile customers, and can only imagine how much worse it is from this offshore type of centre. I guess the bigger picture is one showing the effects of economic rationalism on business decision making, and the forces of the global market world we live in.

  7. Exactly what I’ve worked out – as soon as you hear that pause, you know it’s a spam call. But I am always polite, because you know the callers are only trying to make a living. If they are lying, it’s because head office has trained them to lie. All things considered, it’s gotta be some of the worst work going around.